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Port Promotion Program Committkk 


MBER 8, 









Port Promotion Program Committkk 


September 8, 


3 8 7 . 1097 DEPARTM^rj 1 ■. 

Sa5 2 9 ^'"^^ AND COU.W 




Not to be taken from the Library 


MIL 1 5 1996 

Special Report: September 8, 1950 

3 1223 04288 3232 

To: Board of Directors, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 

From: Port Promotion Program Committee 

Subject: Promotion and Improvement of The Port of San Francisco 


Subject Page 













Intercoastal 25 

Imports 26 

Exports 28 












DEPART^.x^ij i 
CITY AMn r-ntrMi 

REF 387.1097 Sa529 

San Francisco Chamber 

Commerce. Port 
A special report, 

promotion and 

3 1223 04288 3232 


* Special Report: September 8, 1950 

To: Board of Directors, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 

From: Port Promotion Program Committee 

Subject: Promotion and Improvement of the Port of San Francisco (S^lmmary) 

SUMMARY: This is the report of a special committee of the San Francisco Cham- 
ber of Commerce appointed pursuant to a recommendation by the Chamber's 
World Trade Committee to inquire into the status of the Port of San Francisco and, 
if found advisable, to suggest ways and means for the Port's further promotion and 
improvement. Following is a summary of the Committee's findings in two parts 
Conclusions; and Recommendations: 

(1) Port Potential: If San Francisco is to fulfill its destiny as one of the 

world's great ports during the Pacific era which looms with the beginning 
of the second half of the twentieth century, the entire community must 
unite in support of a broad program having these objectives: 

(a) Further improvement of Port and terminal facilities in accordance 
with a master plan to reflect the advantages of technological and 
other progress; 

(b) Constant alertness to and betterment of all carrier and terminal 
tariff items which can be used to influence the movement of passen- 
gers and freight through San Francisco; 

(c) Increased traffic and consequent general employment throughout the 
commiinity through the formulation and execution of coordinated 

* Approved by the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 
at a regular meeting on September 21, 1950. 


solicitation, publicity, advertising and other promotional activities. 
(2) Traffic: Traffic through the Port of San Francisco during the past 
several years has been less in absolute as well as relative (to other 
ports) volumes than it was during World War II or ten years ago or twenty 
years ago. 

The decline was caused by a complexity of factors mostly beyond the 
control of local port or other authorities. Factors which have particularly 
influenced the decline in San Francisco may be enxomerated like this: 

(a) Greater competition from other San Francisco Bay ports and Pacific, 
Gulf and Atlantic coast ports; 

(b) War and economic upheavals throughout the world with consequent 
effects on the volume, control of shipping, and routing of traffic, 
especially with the Orient; 

(c) Local labor xinrest which during the past twenty months has been 
demonstrated to be a thing of the past on the San Francisco water- 

Affecting traffic through all ports are the following: 

(d) The advent and increasing utilization of the motor truck and trailer 
and improved highways; 

(e) Increasing costs of water transportation and marine terminal 

(f) The practice on the part of merchants and manufacturers to maintain 
smaller inventories than in the past, thereby causing them to use 
freight services faster than those by water; conversely, due to 
shortages of raw material, faster freight service by land was de- 
manded and secured. 

While it has not been the Comnnittee's fimction to measure the full poten- 
tials of traffic for the Port, its members were told that competent efforts 
will reverse the trend and be rewarded by constantly increasing voliimes 
of traffic in the future that will more than justify the time, effort and ex- 
pense as nations on the Pacific Basin and throughout the world enter 
their eras of greatest development, 

(3) Control: Whether the San Francisco waterfront and Harbor are controlled 
by the state , the city or a special district authority, it is the opinion of 
your Committee that the same problems discussed in this report with re- 
gard to improvements, operations and promotion will prevail and require 
united community effort for proper solution. 

(4) Competition: Having in mind the welfare of other ports on San Francisco 
Bay and carriers by rail, truck and air as well as by water, the Commit- 
tee believes that, without bias in reference to modes of transportation or 
the ports of the Bay, San Francisco may well assiime leadership in activ- 
ities that will attract all of that ocean commerce via the Port of San 
Francisco to which its location, facilities, services and rates entitle it 
and which will afford the greatest efficiencies and economies for shippers. 

Fundamentally, San Francisco cannot progress without the progress 
of the entire Bay Area and, as the community grows and prospers from 
ocean commerce, the volumes of traffic for land and air carriers will 

(5) Carrier and Terminal Rates and Charges: The Committee's purpose was 
not to make extended carrier and terminal rate studies, but its investiga- 
tion did lead to two major conclusions if the Port is to secure the traffic 


essential to the commianity's prosperity and employment: 

(a) All factors considered, rates and charges pertaining to passenger 
and freight movements via the Port of San Francisco must be at 
least equal to or less than corresponding rates and charges apply- 
ing on movements via other ports; 

(b) While unfavorable disparities in rates and charges have been known 
to exist and have been the subjects of repeated discussions and some 
improvement, greater cooperation between carriers and others in- 
terested is needed to correct various rates and charges which have 
handicapped the Port, 

Therefore, any promotional program must be foiinded on searching in- 
quiries and well-defined procedures to assure that fully competitive rates 
and charges apply on movements to, from and through the Port. 
(6) Carrier and Terminal Facilities and Services: Over the years, excellent 
marine terminal facilities have been provided on the San Francisco 
waterfront which is served by a multiplicity of railroad, truck, steam- 
ship, cargo-handling and passenger-serving companies. That progress is 
continuing is evidenced by railroad improvements, new steamships, more 
efficient truck equipment, the introduction of improved cargo-handling 
equipment, the Foreign Trade Zone, shipside refrigeration facilities, the 
Islais Creek grain terminal^ the improvement of Mission Rock and other- 

However, a number of piers show the ravages of age and do not lend 
themselves to the most modern and economical passenger and freight 
handling practices. In addition to the solution of many current problems. 


attention should be given to a long-range program of waterfront improve- 
ments in accordance with a master plan to be geared to traffic demands, 
new technologies and financing capacity. 

(Because the Port of San Francisco is an enterprise of the State govern- 
ment, it is the responsibility of the Board of State Harbor Commissioners 
and the Legislature immediately to initiate such steps as necessary to 
finance new and improved port and terminal facilities vmder an accelerated 
program commensurate with the opportunities to attract and develop 

(7) Labor-Management Relations: Working conditions and wages for San 

Francisco waterfront workers have been vastly improved during the past 

decade, and during the past two years it has been demonstrated that 

waterfront labor conditions can be stabilized and stoppages avoided. 

Shippers everywhere should be informed of this. 

Labor has become conscious of its responsibilities and dependence on 
the shipping public and has forcefully expressed its desire to contribute 
to stimulated growth and progress by participation in promotional activi- 
ties designed to stabilize conditions and increase waterfront employment 
opportunities . 

(8) Surveys and Reports: In the course of the Committee's work, it was ob- 
served that many organizations are compiling and publishing, to one de- 
gree or another, statistical and other information about water commerce 
and harbor operations. However, too little has been done to make data 
from different sources available and in comparable terms. 

Therefore, steps should be taken to coordinate and interpret statistical 
and other information from the Harbor Board, Department of the Army, 
Department of Commerce, and other agencies, in order that it may be 
disseminated in readily usable form for the information of the public 
and the guidance of port authorities and shippers. 

(9) Traffic Solicitation and Development: The principal solicitation of traffic 
has been conducted in the past by carriers, both land and water, serving 


San Francisco. The effectiveness of this solicitation can be improved by 
better information and coordination. This work has been supplemented by 
limited traffic solicitation by the Harbor Board which, however, is handi- 
capped by state requirements and procedures. Additional support by 
community agencies can bring about marked improvement in this field. 

Close cooperation between the Harbor Board and the Chamber's In- 
dustrial Department in efforts to attract new factories to San Francisco 
should result in creating new tonnage and traffic for the Port, since new 
industries which process foreign materials or produce for export fit 
naturally into the Port pattern. 

In this connection, the Committee received testimony from exporters 
to the effect that there is substantial opportunity for increase in the ex- 
port of products maniifactured in the area tributary to the Port. 
(10) Publicity and Advertising: Publicity and advertising on behalf of the Port 
of San Francisco has not seemed to impress potential shippers with its 
effectiveness, although substantial sums have been spent annually, partic- 
ularly by the Board of State Harbor Commissioners. 

The Committee was informed that there is an opportunity for great 
improvement in the field of relations with the press and the public as 
these relate to the day-to-day operation of the Port. These improved re- 
lations can be mechanized by better coordination of news releases, adver- 
tising, sponsored periodicals and other media. 

While the necessity of security measures is recognized and may be 
controlling at the moment, the general public interest in shipping and the 
waterfront may be stimulated by affording the average citizen more 

opportvmities to familiarize himself with waterfront operations and facil- 
ities. If the progress of the waterfront is essential to the welfare of the 
average citizen, then definite steps should be taken, under normal condi- 
tions, to have him so informed about the Port's activities and prosperity 
that he can "help tell the world". 
RECOMMENDATIONS: By its very nature, the Committee was limited to an objec- 
tive study of the position of the Port and its potentials in the field of promotion. It 
became convinced that no such study group could hope to do more than point out the 
needs, and that promotion of the Port calls for community- wide support of an action 
program so set up as to insure an aggressive, resourceful and \mremitting drive 
toward maximum development. 

The Committee recommends that an agency be created to revitalize and promote 
the welfare and progress of the Port of San Francisco by coordinating all of the 
efforts now being made to sponsor additional efforts to capture all of the traffic 
which may benefit by movement through the Port of San Francisco. 

The agency should be established as a department of the San Francisco Chamber 
of Commerce and its functions integrated with other departments such as Civic 
Development, Domestic Trade, Industrial, Public Affairs, Publicity, Research, 
Transportation and World Trade, all of which are already active to one degree or 
another in behalf of the Porto The Department should be under the direction of a 
permanent Port Promotion Committee to be appointed by the President of the 

The Committee wishes to emphasize that it believes the ultimate success of the 
program is directly contingent upon the composition of the committee responsible 
for carrying outs its recommendations. It is therefore recommended that the 

President of the Chamber consult with and draw upon all interested organizations 
and agencies, including the Mayor, for suggested and recommended committee 

Criteria for committee membership should include deep interest in the Port, 
overall vision and viewpoint and leadership in comm\inity affairs. Appointees 
should be chosen on a city-wide, top-level basis and not limited to Chamber mem- 

Membership: Membership on the Committee should include representatives of: 

- The Board of State Harbor Commissioners 

- The City and County of San Francisco 

- Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers 

- Importers and exporters 

- Railroad, steamship, truck and airline companies 

- The Marine Exchange 

- Banks and insurance companies 

- Labor unions 

- Traffic and civic organizations 

- Statistical organizations 

- Publishers and advertising agencies 

- Warehousemen, customhouse brokers and freight forwarders 

- Engineers and builders 

Organization: Under the leadership of a general chairman, the Port Promotion 
Committee should be divided into six sections, the chairmen of which, with the 
general chairman, should constitute an executive committee. The sections 
would be as follows: 


- Carrier and Terminal Rates and Charges 

- Carrier and Terminal Facilities and Services 

- Labor-Management Relations 

- Surveys and Reports 

- Traffic Solicitation 

- Publicity and Advertising 

The fxinctions of the respective sections are reflected by their names and would 
be coordinative and supplemental. 

Staff: As a minimiim, the department should be staffed by two persons, one a 
manager and the other, secretarial. So far as available, the manager should be 
a man experienced in traffic matters, port development, publicity and advertis- 
ing, business solicitation and organizational work. Additional staffing is not 
proposed at this time as the Committee believes that a great pool of manpower 
is available through the coordinating of existing organizations, volunteer workers 
and the Chamber. 

Program: Creation and operation of the department should proceed in this order 

(1) Engagement of staff 

(2) Appointment of Committee and Sections 

(3) Committee and Section Organization and Orientation 

(4) Formulation of Program by Sections 

(5) Execution of Program by Sections 

(6) Direct Traffic Solicitation 

(7) Publicity and Advertising 

Budget: The Committee considers the establishment of a budget for the pro- 
posed department to be a function of Chamber management, but does have 


comment on two aspects of this subject. 

First of all, budget items should cover salaries, traveling expenses, the 
preparation, production, and distribution of Port brochures and a periodical for 
those who control traffic routings; and overhead, including office supplies, post- 
age, telephone services, publications, etc 

Secondly, in addition to funds which the Chamber makes available for the 
Port promotion budget, special contributions should be regularly provided by 
the Board of State Harbor Commissioners, the City and Coiinty of San Francisco, 
and others, including business and labor, having a special interest in the future 
of the Port, such special funds to be specifically budgeted and accounted for. 

# # # # 


Special Report: September 8, 1950 

To: Board of Directors, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 

From: Port Promotion Program Committee 

Subject: Promotion and Improvement of the Port of San Francisco 

INTRODUCTION: This is a report of the findings, conclusions and recommenda- 
tions of a special committee of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce appointed 
by President Henry E. North on October 13, 1949. Appointment of the Committee 
was in accordance with action taken by the Chamber's Board of Directors on 
October 6, 1949 on a recommendation from the Chamber's World Trade Committee 
"that the Board of Directors approve and initiate establishment of a top-level group 
under direct sponsorship of the Chamber, representing shippers, rail, ocean and 
air carriers, manxifacturers , the city, labor and civic groups, to initiate a program 
for the coordination of Port improvement and promotion." 

In planning to give effect to the Board's action, and in view of the complexities 
of Port improvement and promotion, the Committee determined that it should make 
a careful and objective inquiry into matters pertaining to the improvement, opera- 
tion and promotion of the Port of San Francisco in order to determine the views of 
all possible interested groups and to formulate a more detailed plan of procedure 
than that contained in the report made by the World Trade Committee. 

Therefore, this report is not so much a description of San Francisco's Port 
facilities, traffic and operations, as it is a statement of facts, observations, con- 
clusions, and recommendations with reference to a program of utmost unportance 
to the entire community. 


STRUCTURE OF REPORT: In approaching this assignment, the Committee pos- 
sessed rather broad information concerning the Port of San Francisco and other 
San Francisco Bay ports and the subject of water commerce. In order to become 
fully informed about subjects pertaining to the Port from different viewpoints, the 
Committee invited representatives of a wide number of groups to meet with it. At 
each of the Committee's meetings, a great variety of subjects was discussed and 
points were made respecting harbor management, the Port's facilities, steamship 
services, facilities and rates, land carrier facilities, services and rates, labor- 
management relations, and other subjects. 

So that information developed by the Committee might have an organized pat- 
tern, this report first gives details about the Committee, its membership, meet- 
ings, and witnesses, then provides background information about the Port of San 
Francisco and other ports on San Francisco Bay and finally presents information 
tinder six headings, representing the major subjects developed at the meetings, as 

- Carrier and Terminal Rates and Charges 

- Carrier and Terminal Facilities and Services 

- Labor-Management Relations 

- Surveys and Reports 

- Traffic Solicitation 

- Publicity and Advertising 

Thus, this is not a chronological report of the Committee's meetings, but it does 
reflect what are considered to be the major points made at these sessions 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The Committee desires to take this occasion to express 
its appreciation of the fine spirit of cooperation and interest in the welfare of the 


Port and the commtmity evidenced by all of the persons who met with it. Without 
the cooperation of these many witnesses, the Committee could not have fxinctioned. 

The Committee also had the whole-hearted assistance of Chamber staff repre- 
sentatives and John H. Robinson, Chairman of the Port Promotion Committee of the 
Junior World Trade Association of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. 
PORT PROMOTION PROGRAM COMMITTEE: Members of the Port Promotion 
Program Committee were as follows, with the names of staff representatives who 
have worked with it: 

Committee Members: 

Dwight Ko Grady, Chairman 
Rosenberg Bros. & Co., Inc. 

230 California Street 

DO 2-4080 

Gerald A. Dundon, Vice-Chairman 
Pope & Talbot, Inc. 
320 California Street 

DO 2-2561 

W. F. Minehan 

Bank of America, N.T. & S.A. 
300 Montgomery Street 

DO 2-6112 

Ira S. Lillick 

Lillick, Geary, Olson, Adams & Charles 
311 California Street 

GA 1-4600 

Fred B. Galbreath 
Marine Office of America 
140 Sansome Street 

GA 1-7939 

To R. Jamieson 

Otis, McAllister and Company 

310 Sansome Street 

GA 1-6010 

M. J. McCarthy 
Berry & McCarthy 
260 California Street 

EX 2-8800 

John H. Robinson 
Harper, Robinson & Co. 
510 Battery Street 

DO 2-5930 


Paul A. Bissinger (Ex-Officio) 

Bissinger & Co. 

Davis and Pacific Streets 

SU 1-8780 

Henry E, North (Ex-Officio) 
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. 
600 Stockton Street 

DO 2-7000 

Chamber Staff On Committee: 

G, L. Fox, General Manager 

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 

Walter A. Rohde, Manager 

Transportation Department 

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 

Alvin Co Eichholz, Manager 

World Trade Department 

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 

Robert H„ Langner, Assistant Manager 

World Trade Department 

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 

Secretary, Port Promotion Program Committee 

Following is a detailed list of twenty meetings held, major subjects considered 

and the fifty- seven guests: 

Nov. 29, 1949 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: Initial Committee meeting to outline operation and 

Guests: None 

Dec. 9, 1949 

San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:00 Noon 

Agenda: To meet with Representatives of the Board of State 

Harbor Commissioners 
Guests: B. Jo Feigenbaxam, President, Board of State Harbor 


W. P. Fuller Brawner, Commissioner 

W. G. Welt, Commissioner 

Carl Smith, Secretary of the Board 

Dwight L. Merriman, First Vice President, 
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 


Dec. 20, 1949 - Room 306, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Building - 
10:00 A.M. 

Agenda: Joint meeting with Chamber Merchant Marine and Harbor 
Committee to discuss shipping and related matters with 
Mr. Frank Pellegrini, Chief Counsel for Sub-Committee 
on Merchant Marine and Maritime Matters of U.S. Senate 
Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. 
Jan. 10, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P„M., 

Agenda: To discuss viewpoint and policy of the City regarding 
the Port. 

Guests: City Officials: 

Hon. Elmer E. Robinson, Mayor of San Francisco 

Francis V. Keesling, Jr., Washington Legal Representa- 
tive, City and Co\inty of San Francisco 

Donald W. Cleary, State Legislative Representative, City 
and County of San Francisco 

Jan. 27, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: To discuss problems confronting shippers' traffic 

Guests: Traffic Managers: 

R. F. Ahern, Traffic Manager, Rosenberg Bros. & Co., Inc. 

A. T. Eche, District Manager, F. W. Woolworth Company 

W. F. Krause, Assistant Traffic Manager, Crown 
Zellerbach Corporation 

P. S. Labagh, Assistant Traffic Director, California 
Packing Corporation 


James L. Roney, Traffic Manager, S. 8e W. Fine Foods, Inc 
L. H. Wolters, Traffic Manager, Golden State Company, Ltd 
Feb. 3, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: To discuss cargo handling problems from the local dray- 
mens' point of view. 

Guests.: City Draying Companies' Representatives: 

Russell Bevans, Secretary-Manager, Draymen's Associa- 
tion of San Francisco 

George D. Hart, Vice President, Farnsworth & Ruggles 

George Patton, Manager, Drayage Department, Haslett 
Warehouse Co. 

Li. B. Raymond, Vice President, Overland Freight 
Transfer Co. 

Feb. 10, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: To discuss long haul trucking to and from the Port. 

Guests: Contract Truck Operators: 

C. A. Baker, Northern Division Manager, Fortier 
Transportation Co., Richmond 

David L. Ditto, Manager , V.Lippolis Draying Co., San Jose 

Donald A. Mitchell, Partner, Riske Trucking Co., 

Feb. 17, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: To discuss warehouse relationships to Port traffic. 
Guests: Warehouse Representatives: 

J. W. Howell, Vice President, Haslett Warehouse Co. 
Irving Culver, President, Turner- Whittel Warehouse, Inc. 
H. F. Hiller, President, San Francisco Warehouse Co. 


Feb. 28, 1950 - Room 206, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Building - 
10:00 A.M. 

Agenda: Discussion of pier receiving problems with special 

sub-committee . 

Guests: B. L. Legg, Richmond Chase Company, San Jose 

C. E. Nordling, Terminal Superintendent, American 
President Lines 

Zane A. Stickel, Zane A. Stickel & Co. 
Mar. 3, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: To discuss trans -pacific traffic. 
Guests: Pacific Westbound Conference Members: 

W. K. Varcoe, Vice President, American President Lines 

George E. Tahnadge, Vice President, Pacific Transport 

A. L. Wise, Traffic Manager, Kerr Steamship Co. 

E. L. Bargones, Vice President & General Manager, 
Transpacific Transportation Co. 

Mar. 10, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: To discuss European and Latin American traffic. 

Guests: Members of the European and Latin American Conferences; 

R. F. Bur ley, Secretary-Chairman, Latin American 

John F. McArt, General Chairman, Pacific Coast, 
European Conference and various Latin American 

L. I. McKim, Traffic Manager, General Steamship 


Mar. 17, 1950 - San Francisco Comnnercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: A discussion of labor's viewpoint on Port situation. 

Guests: Union Representatives: 

Philip C. Sandlin, President, International Longshore- 
men's & Warehousemen's Union 

Eddie Tangen, National Secretary-Treasurer, National 
Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards 

Paul Pinsky, Research Director, National Union of 
Marine Cooks and Stewards 

Mar. 24, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: A discussion of labor's viewpoint on the Port situation. 

Guests: Union Representative: 

Daniel Sweeney, Business Representative, Teamsters' 

Mar. 31, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 
Agenda: Reports on New Orleans. 
Guests: None 

Apr. 14, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: A discussion of railroads' relationship to the Port. 

Guests: Railroad Traffic Managers: 

Herman W. Klein, Freight Traffic Manager, Southern 
Pacific Co. 

H. A. Lawrence, Traffic Manager, Union Pacific Railroad 

Berne Levy, General Freight Agent, Atchison, Topeka & 
Santa Fe Railway Co. 

M. W. Roper, Freight Traffic Manager, Western Pacific 
Railroad Co. 


Apr. 28, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: A discussion of Port from Harbor-wide viewpoint. 

Guests: A. A. Moran, Chairman, Maritime Committee of Bay Area 

M. A, Cremer, Executive Secretary, Marine Exchange 

A. C. Meadows, Assistant Traffic Manager, Port of 

Gen. Robert H. Wylie, Port Manager, Board of State 
Harbor Commissioners 

June 9, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: A discussion of exporters' problems. 
Guests: Exporters: 

James S. Baker, James S. Baker Co. 
Daniel Polak, Partner, Polak, Winters & Co. 
Justin Radin, Wilbur-Ellis Company 
June 16, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: A discussion of intercoastal and coastwise traffic prob- 
lems . 

Guests: Coastwise & Intercoastal Representatives: 

C. R. Nicker son, Secretary-Manager, Pacific Coastwise 

Charles Lynch, Freight Traffic Manager, Coastwise Line 
R. F. Burley, Intercoastal & Coastwise Traffic Expert 
June 23, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: A discussion of press and public relations of the Port. 

Guests: Newspaper Representatives: 

Frank Clarvoe, Editor, SAN FRANCISCO NEWS 




Randolph Hearst, Publisher, CALL-BULLETIN 

Clarence Lindner, Publisher, SAN FRANCISCO 

Thor M. Smith, Assistant Publisher, CALL-BULLETIN 
Jvme 30, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M. 

Agenda: Review and planning by Committee. 

Guests: None 

THE PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO : The harbor and public marine terminal facilities 
located in the City and County of San Francisco are operated as an enterprise of 
the State of California under the direction of a Board of State Harbor Commissioners 
appointed by the Governor. Current members of the Board are: B. J.Feigenbaum, 
Chairman; W. P. Fuller Brawner, and W.G.Welt. General Robert H. Wylie is the 
Port Manager and the Board's chief administrative officer. He directs the admin- 
istrative, operating and engineering staff of the Board. 

CONTROL: The Board of State Harbor Commissioners is guided in its improve- 
ment and operations of the Port of San Francisco by the State Harbors and Navi- 
gation Code under the terms of which the bases of rentals for its facilities must 
be reasonable, it appearing that the Board must pro-rate its costs of operations 
among the users of the Port and Board properties. The Board is not required to 
make a profit from the use of its facilities but its rates must be compensatory 
and it is expected to derive sufficient revenues to service the debt created 
through bond issues to finance the Port's improvements. In this respect, the 
Board's problems differ materially from those of other ports where improve- 
ment bond issues are generally serviced from tax revenues. 


Over the years many questions have been raised as to whether control of the 
Port of San Francisco should be transferred from the State to the City and 
County of San Francisco, to a harbor district, or to some other port authority. 

At the 1949 session of the California State Legislature, by resolution, a 
Senate Fact- Finding Committee on Establishing a Port Authority for San Fran- 
cisco Bay was created. This committee commenced a series of hearings early 
this year and will make a report to the 1951 Legislature, The subject assigned 
to it is being explored by the committee and the results of its work will merit 
the most serious consideration by all interests concerned with the welfare of 
all of the ports on San Francisco Bay, 

Questions pertaining to legal control of the Port were discussed at length by 
various witnesses who met with the Port Promotion Program Committee^ How- 
ever, the Committee believes questions of legal control in the operation of the 
Port are of secondary importance and that the primary concern is the active 
development of the Port through improvement, promotion, expansion of service, 
and the like, regardless of what the controlling entity may be. 

The task before us is a challenge to the entire community and the job to be 
done will be a commiinity responsibility. 

COMPETITION: Competition in which the Port is involved may be said to have 
two major aspects - one relating to other ports including those on San Francisco 
Bay, the other relating to the different modes of transportation available to 

Questions as to San Francisco's relationship with other ports in the San 
Francisco Bay Region were considered at length by the Committee and its guests. 
It was the conclusion of the Committee that San Francisco should provide the 


leadership to attract additional commerce to San Francisco Bay, it being the 
objective of San Francisco interests to sell shippers on using those port facili- 
ties in the Bay Area which meet their requirements most efficiently and econom 
ically with the expectation that San Francisco will get that share of the business 
to which it is entitled. 

The Committee further believes that increased voltime of business for rail, 
truck and air carriers serving San Francisco will result from overall increases 
in traffic which may be developed through the Port. 

FACILITIES: The facilities under control of the Board of State Harbor Commis- 
sioners consist of 56 piers and quay wharves, which have been augmented by the 
huge new Mission Rock Terminal, and the State Belt Railroad which serves the 
waterfront and adjacent properties. In addition, there are specially-equipped 
terminals for handling bulk and sacked grain, bulk copra and other oil-bearing 
materials, bananas, refrigerated cargo and lumber. 

While a number of new piers and commodity terminals have been built in the 
last two decades, and several of the older piers are adequate for the types of 
business they are handling, others are antiquated and inadequate for the econom 
ical handling of large cargoes. 

The finger-type piers which predominate on the San Francisco waterfront ar 
not generally as suitable for the receipt and delivery of cargo by truck as other 
port facilities in the Bay Area. The Committee has heard much criticism from 
both shippers and truckmen on this score. 

Mission Rock Terminal, which has been leased by the American President 
Lines, will provide ideal truck access and this problem will also be met through 
improvements being made by the enlargement of piers 30 and 32 for the Matson 


Navigation Company. Here the intervening slip will be decked over to provide 
tailgate loading and unloading and facilities for improved turn-around for trucks 
as well as large additional cargo-handling space. 

Many persons who met with the Committee commended the Board of State 
Harbor Commissioners for the establishment of the Foreign Trade Zone, the 
Mission Rock Terminal, the specially-equipped commodity terminals and the 
modernization of the Matson Piers. These facilities were said to have brought 
in and will continue to bring in large new tonnages to the Port. 
TRAFFIC: In terms of general cargo statistics, the Port of San Francisco is 
the Pacific Coast's leading port. On the other hand, overall traffic data are 
difficult to analyze and aggregate tonnage figures are sometimes misleading. 
However, it is significant to note that total traffic through the Port has tended to 
decline since 1930. 

Decreased volumes through San Francisco have been caused by a variety of 
technological, economic and international factors, largely beyond the control of 
local interests. 

Tonnages over San Francisco docks (excluding carferry traffic, bulk oil. 
sand, gravel, etc.) have been as follows: 

Trade (in tons) 





Inland Waterway 















Foreign and Offshore 











Peak Year Tonnages in Various Trades, 
Compared to 1949, (War Years Excluded) 



1949 Tons 

Inland Waterway 





ti II 













1 1,798 











Foreign and Offshore 










It will be observed that San Francisco's greatest tonnage losses have occurred 
in the inland waterway and coastwise trades- This condition is not peculiar to 
San Francisco. All port facilities on San Francisco Bay experienced connparable 
losses in these trades, and all ports on the Pacific Coast shared in the loss of 
coastwise business. The trucks, which give faster and more complete service, 
have taken over most of the inland waterway traffic, and together with the age 
and mounting operating costs of river steamers and barges, have caused the al- 
most complete disappearance of these craft. 

Coastwise operations between California ports have ceased altogether, and 
there is only very limited operation between California and ports in Oregon and 
Washington. In 1930, there were 147 vessels in the coastwise trade. Today 
there are 11. The operators claim that the decline of this trade is due primarily 
to unduly low rail rates approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission. 


which rendered it impossible for the operators to raise their own rates sviffi- 
ciently to nneet greatly increased costs of labor, fuel and supplies. Other stated 
factors are lack of effective regulation, strikes and frequent interruptions of 
service, age of the vessels, unbalanced movement because the northbound ton- 
nage was always lighter than the southbound, the decline of the lumber traffic 
because of depletion of timber in the Puget Sound -Columbia River areas and 
truck competition. Finally, it is stated that while the great majority of the 
freight vessels in this service prior to 1940 cost between $50,000 and $250,000 
each, the only vessels that can now be purchased cost upward of a half -million 

Intercoastal: The drop in San Francisco's inter coastal inboxind tonnage is 
accovmted for largely by the overall decline of this trade. Prior to the war, 
there were about 150 vessels in the intercoastal fleet, compared to 56 at 
present. The operators ascribe this decline primarily to low rail rates be- 
tween the Pacific Coast and territory tributary to the Atlantic and Gulf 
Coasts. Although all of these rail rates have been increased very substan- 
tially in recent years, the water lines have been forced to increase their 
rates in proportion to meet rising costs of labor, fuel and supplies. It is 
claimed that prior to the war, they were able to reach inland several hundred 
miles for desirable cargo but now the distance is not much more than one 
hiindred miles. High stevedoring costs, excessive Panama Canal tolls and 
the high capital cost of vessels for operation in this trade are other factors. 
Public confidence in the stability of the service has not been restored entirely, 
as many shippers remember interruptions through strikes and work stoppages, 
and some are still hesitant about shipping Christmas or other seasonal 

merchandise for that reason. 

San Francisco's loss of outbound inter coastal tonnage is far greater in 
proportion than the general decline of the trade. Much of this tonnage, princi- 
pally canned goods and dried fruit, has been diverted to the East Bay ternai- 
nals and Stockton in the past twenty years <, Some of the factors responsible 
for this diversion are lower land carrier rates from producing points immed- 
iately tributary to the East Bay and Stockton, the concentration of canning and 
dried fruit plants there, multiple berth operation which allows a shipper to 
deliver at one terminal several consignments for different steamship lines, 
shipside storage and very active solicitation. Also, as previously mentioned, 
the East Bay and Stockton terminals are more accessible by truck and fewer 
delays are encountered there. 

The Board of State Harbor Commissioners has for the past 20 years or 
more attempted to meet the multiple berth problem. Its Belt Railroad Tariff 
permits cars containing cargo for ocean movement from points outside of San 
Francisco to be switched to three different piers without extra switching 
charge. The Board also leased part of its facilities to the State Terminal Co., 
and the Golden Gate Terminals, which conducted operations similar to those 
of the East Bay terminals, which operations were only partly successful and 
which were discontinued during the last war. Similarly, leasing of facilities 
to the Islais Creek Grain Corporation permits shipside storage of both bulk 
and sacked grain. The Board cannot directly engage in shipside storage as it 
is prohibited from doing so by law. 

Imports: The decline in imports is partially accounted for by world conditions, 
including loss of production in war-devastated countries and by economic 




disturbances in those and other coiintries. The greatest loss is fovmd in im- 
ports from Continental Europe, but substantial declines are also noted in the 
tonnage from the United Kingdom, Japan, China, India and Indonesia^ To a 
lesser extent there have been declines in importation of various commodities 
such as raw silk, burlap, tung oil and chemicals, due to the development of 
United States production or substitutes , An example of the former is the pro- 
duction of tung oil in the southern states. 

. On the other hand, imports from South America increased very materially 
in the interim between 1928 and 1949, notably imports of green coffee, ores 
and concentrates and crude petroleiam. The ores and the petroleum, while in- 
cluded in the figures for the San Francisco Customs District, are handled 
mainly over privately-owned docks up the Bay, 

In the intervening years, the import tonnage for San Francisco proper 
fluctuated considerably, and the reports of the Army Engineers show similar 
fluctuations for other United States ports and for the nation. The most drastic 
fluctuations occurred at New York, which had 21,665,727 tons in 1941, only 
9,351,036 in 1942, and 15,119,544 in 1943. 

The Army figures for 1947, the latest available, indicate that all major 
Pacific Coast ports have lost in their volume of imports since 1930, except 
Long Beach which was a relatively undeveloped port in that year. Using the 
same years as a basis, the ports of Baltimore, Hampton Roads and Philadel- 
phia appear to have made important gains, with New Orleans and Boston gain- 
ing more moderately and New York showing considerable loss. Houston, 
Beaumont and Baton Rouge also showed losses. Here again there were violent 
fluctuations. Houston had 380,793 tons in 1930 and 275,400 in 1947 but in the 


interim had 1,457,943 in 1940 and only 73,479 in 1945. 

Standing alone, the Army's tonnage figures for the various ports do not 
afford a reliable index. They are not broken down by country of origin and 
further include vast tonnage of bulk commodities which are usually dis- 
charged at privately-owned docks. To determine why the Port of San Francis- 
co has lost import tonnage and whether it was lost to other ports is a difficult 
tasko The answers, to the extent that they can be found at all, must be found 
in a comparison of San Francisco's tonnage with that of other major ports, 
commodity by commodity and year by year, and such comparisons must be 
weighed against world trade conditions to be of any value. 

Exports: San Francisco's tonnage of outbound foreign and off-shore cargo for 
the year 1949 is only 80,000 tons below that of 1929 which was the peak year 
prior to the war years, when the tonnage mounted to an all-time high of 
5,355,897 in 1945. It declined to 2,513,541 in 1946, rose again to 3,178,823 
in 1947 and fell back to 2,043,968 in 1948. While, as stated in connection with 
imports, the tonnage at all ports may fluctuate widely in different years, the 
above fluctuations in San Francisco's tonnage are largely due to falling off of 
wartime traffic and to labor disturbances. In 1946, the sailors were out from 
September 5 to September 24. The deck officers and engineers struck on 
October 1 and went back to work November 23. In 1948, the longshoremen, 
cooks and stewards and other crafts were on strike from September 2 to 
December 6„ Two major strikes in 1949 also affected San Francisco's tonnage 
adversely. The I.L.W.U. warehousemen were out from June 15 to October 1. 
The Hawaiian longshoremen's strike lasted from May 1 to October 6. Since 
Hawaiian tonnage is included in the Harbor Board's foreign and off-shore 

figures, it is apparent that a much better showing would have been made by 
San Francisco in 1949 if labor peace had prevailed throughout the year. 

As to other ports, Army Engineers' figures from 1930 to 1947, indicate 
spectacular gains in export tonnage were made by Hampton Roads, Baltimore 
and Philadelphia, but examination shows that the gains were due mostly to 
unprecedented shipments of coal and grain for relief purposes. To a lesser 
extent, this is also true of New Orleans and Mobile. Some coal was also ex- 
ported from Long Beach, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle during 1947. 

Comparison of the 1949 San Francisco Customs District figures with 
those of 1929 indicate substantial drops in exports to the United Kingdom, 
Continental Europe, Australia and Canada. Gains are indicated in the case of 
the Philippine Islands, the Persian Gulf area, India, Japan and Africa. 

The commodity showing the greatest decline is barley. In 1929, the 
United Kingdom took 221,777 tons, while the record shows no shipments to the 
United Kingdom in 1949. Some declines are also noted in canned goods and 
dried fruit, but shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables have increased, al- 
though not enough to offset the drop in canned and dried. Increases are noted 
in cotton, canned milk, iron and steel, and fertilizers. 

The loss of export tonnage of canned goods and dried fruit shown by Cus- 
toms District figures probably fell almost entirely on San Francisco. Indica- 
tions are that the East Bay terminals have maintained their voliime of these 
commodities, which is borne out by the fact that certain lines in the European 
trade, which are heavy carriers of these commodities, load only at the East 
Bay terminals. 

As with imports, the tonnage of export commodities that may flow through 


a port is subject to many influences and conditions. A detailed analysis of 
tonnage figures over a period of many years will throw some light on the 
matter, but will not furnish the complete answer. 

Because of the conflict which has developed in Korea, there has been an 
immediate increase in the volxime of traffic moving through San Francisco. 
But, entirely aside from emergency conditions, the Committee was told that 
large volumes of freight may be attracted for movement through San Francis- 
co by a better coordinated and broader program of advertising, publicity and 
solicitation than that conducted in the past. It has not been the Committee's 
function to measure the full potential of traffic for San Francisco Harbor. 
Nevertheless, its members are convinced that greater promotional efforts 
are fully justified even during the Korean emergency in order to establish 
San Francisco's advantages for recognition by shippers throughout the nation 
and world when the emergency is over. 
FINANCES: The facilities under control of the Board of State Harbor Commis- 
sioners had a book value of $84,977,383.82 as of June 30, 1949. Current assets 
amoiinted to $8,280,545,55. Funded debt was $23,153,000.00, against which 
sinking funds of $8,122,503.71 had accximulated. 

Issuance of bonds can only be authorized by the State Legislature, subject to 
voter approval at a general election. Actual issuance is governed by a specially- 
constituted bond committee, which fixes the date and amount of the issue, the in- 
terest rate and the maturity date. Only $3,000,000 of authorized bonds remain 
to be issued and sold. 

Revenues are obtained solely from rentals, dockage, wharfage, wharf de- 
murrange and other sources as set forth in the Board's tariff and from 


switching and other services rendered by the State Belt Railroad. By law, the 
Board has always been prohibited from collection of greater charges than 
necessary for the performance of its prescribed duties and for bond interest 
and redemption. In other words, the Board has been prohibited from piling up 
any large surplus. 

The Board never has had the benefit of any tax subvention; the facilities now 
existing have not cost the taxpayers of the State one penny. In contrast, a num- 
ber of municipally-owned ports, both in the Bay Area and elsewhere, have the 
benefit of tax subvention, or revenue from sources other than port operations „ 
A notable example of the latter is the royalty from petroleum production on 
harbor properties at Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbor. 

Since the Board is literally compelled to operate within its income and 
since its charges are not only held down by competition but are now as high as 
the traffic will bear, it is clear that only substantial increases in traffic and 
resulting increases in revenue or additional bonds will provide the capital 
necessary to make vital, large-scale improvements in the Port's facilities » 

Following is a statement of income and expense for the fiscal years ended 
June 30, 1930, 1940 and 1949: 


Fiscal Year ending J\ine 30: 

1930 1940 1950 

Operating Revenue, 

including Rentals $3,145,600.50 $2,434,069.61 $4,118,218,24 

Non-Operating Revenue 50,456.17 49,700.76 264,302.80 

Interest from Sinking Fxinds 19,709.45 120,596.25 120,190.00 

Bond Sale Premivims - - - 

Total Revenue $3,215,766.12 $2,604,366.62 $4,502,711.04 

Operating and Administrative 

Expense $ 1,591,050.79 $1,616,197.15 $3,147,843.52 

Bond Interest and Discount 742,908.88 772,120.00 865,645.27 

Uncollectible Accounts 1,398.27 692.62 

Total Expense $2,335,357.94 $2,389,009.77 $4,013,488.79 
Profit Before 

Depreciation $ 880,408.18 $ 215,356.85 $ 489,222.25 

* Depreciation - - 784,025.60 

Loss - - 294,803.35 

* Note: Depreciation not carried as an expense item in 1940 and 1930 although 
reserves for depreciation, established when port properties were appraised 
and revalued in 1929, appeared in the Board's statement of Assets and 
Liabilities . 

OTHER SAN FRANCISCO BAY REGION PORTS: During recent years, a number of 
ports with excellent terminal facilities have been developed in the San Francisco 
Bay Region. These include Alameda, Oakland, Redwood City, Richmond, and 
Stockton. Traffic in tons of 2000 pounds has been as follows, with comparable in- 
formation for San Francisco: 





Oakland (Municipal) 



Oakland (Howard Terminal) 



Alameda (Encinal Terminals) 



Richmond (Parr Terminals) 



Redwood City 









San Francisco 






The ports which have been emamerated reflect a wide variety of control and 
operating practices. The major facilities at Oakland are operated under the direc- 
tion of a Port Commission which is a part of the mimicipal government. Other 
diversified facilities on the Oakland waterfront are operated by Howard Terminal, 
a private corporation. 

At Alameda, the port facilities are operated by Encinal Terminals. 

The major marine terminal facilities at Redwood City are an adjunct of the City 

While much of the Port of Richmond has been developed by the city, other term- 
inals have been developed by the Parr-Richmond Terminal Company and all of the 
public marine terminal facilities are operated by this corporation which has a 
leasehold on the city-owned properties. 

Most of the facilities at Stockton were provided through the proceeds of a city 
bond issue, but the Port is now operated under the jurisdiction of the Stockton Port 
District and its Commission. 


All of these ports have varied facilities, some of which have been provided to 
specialize in the handling of certain types of cargoes and all of which have capaci- 
ties in excess of current normal demands,, The publicly owned harbor improve- 
ments have generally been made through the proceeds of bond issues which are 
serviced through tax monies rather than through income from operations. 

While any conclusion would simply be a matter of opinion, it appears that man- 
agement of some of the ports in the Bay Region has been more aggressively con- 
ducted than that of San Francisco proper and that the economic welfare of all of 
the commvmities and ports within the region is interdependent. Therefor, it is to 
San Francisco's interest to see all of the Bay Region ports progress and prosper. 
CARRIER AND TERMINAL RATES AND CHANGES: Probably no other single fac- 
tor -- such as services, facilities, trade customs, friendships -- has as much in- 
fluence on the routing of passenger and freight movements as their cost. While 
definite efforts should be made to attract the movement of passengers to and from 
and through the Port of San Francisco by water, freight traffic was given the 
major attention of the Port Promotion Program Committee and this is the primary 
subject considered herein. 

Fundamentally, rates and charges are covered by published tariffs which are 
filed with and subject to the jurisdiction of regulatory authorities such as the 
California Public Utilities Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission and 
the Federal Maritime Board (formerly the Maritime Commission). The nature and 
levels of the charges and rates are the results of evolution representing something 
of a balance between the minimum that will sustain the facilities and services of 
the carriers and terminal operators, and the maximum that will attract and hold 
traffic. Competitive forces also have a strong influence. 


So far as marine terminals are concerned, there are wide variances in their 
histories which are reflected in the rates and charges to which they are entitled 
and the manners in which they are assessed. In many cases particularly in the 
Pacific Northwest and on the Atlantic Coast -- marine terminals were provided 
historically by land and/or water carriers; and costs of their establishment, main- 
tenance and operation are covered by what are commonly considered to be the 
"long haul" rates. 

In other instances, particularly in California, marine terminals have been es- 
tablished, maintained and operated directly or through other parties by the state, 
cities, port districts and private companies which do not participate in the "long 
haul" carrier revenues. Consequently, the charges provided for in the tariffs are 
levied in various ways but, in the last analysis, are borne by the freight. 

According to statements made to the Committee, levels and methods of billing 
terminal charges -- wharfage, handling, carloading and unloading, etc. -- have di- 
verted cargoes from San Francisco and other Pacific Coast ports. 

Consequently, while the fundamentals of the circumstance cannot be changed, 
many refinements in the level of the rates and the methods of assessing them can 
be accomplished and would result in more business for the Port. 

This was demonstrated twice in the course of the Committee's activities. In 
one instance, the Harbor Board published new items in its tariff providing for the 
equalization of its wharfage charges with those of competitive ports on certain long 
haul traffic. In the other example, rail and water carriers, except the Hawaiian 
lines, have agreed to absorb wharfage and car unloading charges on transcontinental 
traffic which will eliminate separate billings directly against shippers of a type 
that were \inexpected, not understood and negative so far as the attraction of traffic 


is concerned. 

Carrier tariffs, as has been indicated, are the product of evolution which never 
ceases. As ports have become more aggressive, they have stimulated the refine- 
ment of tariffs to influence the routing of traffic. While many land and water car- 
rier rates to and from San Francisco have been found just and reasonable and are 
competitive with those available to and from other ports, business conditions are 
constantly changing and call for tariff adjustments to protect the position of the 
Port of San Francisco, Many adjustments are continuously being processed but 
there must be constant search for further opportunities along that line. Analyses 
of rate structures should be expanded so that corrective steps can be taken in order 
to give a current picture of San Francisco's competitive position in relationship to 
(a) other ports of the Bay Region, (b) other ports on the Pacific Coast and (c) other 
ports on the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. Concurrently, the foreign and domestic 
areas which may be served at an advantage, or at least on an equal basis, by the 
Port of San Francisco should be clearly defined and exploited in all promotional 

For many years, the Chamber's Transportation Department has taken an active 
interest in port and terminal charges, as well as in the rates of all types of car- 
riers to and from this and competing ports. It has participated in numerous formal 
cases involving such rates and charges before the Interstate Commerce Commis- 
sion, the former Maritime Commission and the Public Utilities Commission of 
California. It has also participated in many conferences with carrier groups, and 
has supported scores of individual rate proposals which were deemed beneficial 
to the Port, and on the other hand, has opposed many which appeared detrimental. 

However, it should be pointed out that on the Pacific Coast alone, there are 


upward of twenty shipping conferences governing ocean rates in various trades. An 
even greater number are functioning on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Equally nuna- 
erous are the railroad and truck rate bureaus. All can and do process rate propos- 
als which may affect this or competing ports, and the aggregate number of such 
proposals rxins into the hxindreds at any given time. Such proposals frequently 
involve conflicting interests which are difficult and sometimes impossible to recon- 

The Chamber's Transportation Department, with its limited personnel and bud- 
get, finds it impossible to keep abreast of every rate proposal and tariff change, or 
to take effective action on all of them. This requires a larger organization and 
greater resources than are presently available. 

the Committee nor is this the place for a complete analysis of all of San Francis- 
co's carrier and terminal facilities and services. It is sufficient to report that, as 
in the case of rates and charges, the facilities and services are not subject to 
revolutionary innovations, but to continuous improvement and adaptation and com- 
pare favorably with those which are available at other ports. 

Therefore, comment under this heading may be condensed into three parts: 
Improvements, Apparent Deficiencies, and Services related to handling. 

IMPROVEMENTS: While the Harbor Board has spent time, effort and funds to 
publicize Port improvements and they may be well known to some present and 
potential shippers, the Board's improvement program has been more notable 
thaii generally recognized. This is evidenced by the Foreign Trade Zone, ship- 
side refrigeration facilities, the Islais Creek grain terminal with its bulk- 
handling equipment, work which is under way for the Matson Navigation Co. on 


piers 30, 32 and 35, the Mission Rock Ternninal which is leased to the American 
President Lines, preliminary work on the site of the first unit of the World 
Trade Center and negotiations which recently have been concluded with the 
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway for the long-range relocation of its San 
Francisco ferry, yard and related facilities. 

Greater efforts should be made to inform the public about the constant im- 
provement of San Francisco's waterfront facilities because it seems to be more 
difficult to make good news travel than reports of less favorable happenings. 

Although the improvements which have been made recently on the water- 
front, or are planned, are notable, the Committee was not acquainted with any 
master plan for continued improvements for execution in stages as demands 
grow or funds become available. Such a plan would engender shipper and public 
interest and give assurances that no opportunity is to be lost. 

During World War II, ports throughout the nation were improved as to facili- 
ties and otherwise by Federal agencies in connection with the War effort. Be- 
cause of its extensive facilities, probably the Port of San Francisco afforded the 
greatest service of any port in facilitating War traffic. And yet, few improve- 
ments in the Port's facilities were made by the Government. During the present 
emergency, it is possible that traffic may be expedited if additional or improved 
facilities are created at San Francisco by the Government. Such possibilities 
should not be overlooked. 

DEFICIENCIES; Most of San Francisco's terminal facilities are finger-type 
piers -- covered wharves with shipside aprons -- extending from the shore out 
into the Bay. Practically all of them were planned and many of them built before 
the motor truck and highway freighting developed. Use of present facilities can 


be stimulated, however, by (a) their better adaptation to use by trucks, and (b) 
provisions for the scheduling of truck movements. 

While congestion on marine terminals may occur regardless of facilities and 
scheduling, some costly tying-up of labor, truck equipment and freight on the San 
Francisco waterfront was reported. Remodeling of piers 30 and 32 will demon- 
strate the feasibility of adapting existing improvements to more efficient and 
economical truck-use, and some truck operators explained that they did (and 
others could) avert undue delays on the waterfront by proper advance notice to 
wharf operators as to arrival schedules or special arrangements for the dis- 
charge of line-haul equipment at warehouses away from the waterfront and then 
transfers to wharves. 

The latter practice is not particularly economical, but it does appear that 
Port and wharf lessees could make truck movements more efficient and econom- 
ical to themselves and to truck operators by inducing the latter to give advance 
delivery notice to wharfingers. 

FREIGHT HANDLING: The increasing costs of handling freight between wharves 
and ships have grown in importance with respect to the influencing of freight 
routings. Such costs have been at the root of inland waterway and coastwise 
traffic shrinkages. Therefore, the subject must be one of constant research and 
observation in order that the Port willhave the benefits of technological and 
other freight-handling developments. 

In this field are the pallets - small, portable platforms on which freight may 
be moved to, on and from land and water carriers by fork-lift trucks and slings. 
Packaged freight may be handled in multiples rather than singly by use of 
pallets. Ownership of pallets varies, but it generally vests in the shipper and at 


some point he frequently wants thenn introduced into the flow of traffic or re- 
captured from it. 

The dock or marine terminal may be this point. The consequent problems 
and their solution demonstrate how Port services can be improved. Much of 
the freight which should move outbound through San Francisco originates at Bay 
Area factories. Common practice for products which can be palletized would be 
to move them to and discharge them on San Francisco wharves on pallets where 
they remain until the freight is loaded onto a ship, when the owner wants to re- 
capture his pallets. Conditions on San Francisco piers were such that owners 
could not easily reclaim their pallets and, in fact, lost some. Obviously, they 
had justifiable complaints. 

In order to induce pallet-borne traffic, the Harbor Board has instituted, at 
its own expense, a service for the collection and segregation by brands of pal- 
lets as they accumulate on the San Francisco waterfront so that they may be 
picked up at a central point for return to shippers. 
LAB OR -MANAGEMENT RELATIONS: The San Francisco waterfront for many 
years was the scene of labor's efforts to improve working conditions and wages. 
As a result, there were controversies between San Francisco waterfront employers 
and the \inions to such an extent that national and international attention was at- 
tracted. Views of spokesmen before the Committee varied as to the extent of the 
effect of these controversies on Port traffic. 

Such controversies affected all Pacific Coast ports, but because San Francisco 
is the headquarters of the employers and \inions involved, attention was unduly 
focused on this Port. 

The Committee learned that during the past two years it has been demonstrated 


that maritime and waterfront labor conditions can be stabilized, efficiency in- 
creased and stoppages averted. Shippers must be informed of this in order that 
they may know that the flow of their traffic through the Port will not be impeded. 

Concurrent with improved management-labor relations, labor has become con- 
scious of its responsibilities to and dependence for employment on the shipping 
public. Its spokesmen have forcefully expressed labor's desire to participate in 
activities to stimulate growth and progress of the Port. Provision must be made 
for labor's representatives to participate in promotional activities which attract 
traffic and stabilize and increase waterfront employment opportunities. 

In this connection, it should be recognized that, in addition to longshoremen, the 
waterfront involves ship personnel, car loaders and unloaders , checkers, truck 
drivers, operating engineers and a variety of specialized skills. 

SURVEYS AND REPORTS : In the course of the Committee's work, it was observed 
that many agencies are compiling and publishing, to one degree or another, statis- 
tical and other information about water commerce and Harbor operations. How- 
ever, too little has been done to coordinate data from different sources, and make 
the facts comparable and available for wide distribution. 

The best source of water commerce data historically has been the Corps of 
Engineers of the United States Department of the Army. However, there have been 
great lags between the dates when the commerce moves and the time when the fig- 
ures are available. Such lags should be reduced. 

Segregation of the Army's figures for coastwise traffic has been requested by 
the Chamber and the Harbor Board so that the tonnages moving in coastwise, inter- 
coastal and non- contiguous possession trades may be determined. 

Other data which are available from the United States Department of Commerce 


are more timely, but are not comparable with Army reports because they princi 
pally cover exports and imports by custom districts and may therefore include 
several ports. 

Other figures are issued by steamship conferences, port authorities and other 
agencies, but require careful interpretations before being comparable. Limited 
knowledge of data sources easily results in misleading comparisons for public in- 

Shippers are influenced in their traffic routings by facts which must be coordi- 
nated from many authoritative sources and the public and the Port would benefit if 
publicists, advertisers and solicitors could be supplied concise, dependable and the 
most current information possible by a centralized agency. 

Such an agency could develop) terminal news, significant traffic data, delineate 
Port service areas and name present and potential shippers who merit the commiin- 
ity's attention. Subject to further studies by such a group, comparative , long range 
information should be readily available about tonnages and commodities by trades to 
indicate relative traffic trends as to San Francisco, on the one hand,, and, on the other 
hand, other ports of the Bay Area and the Pacific, Gulf and Atlantic coasts. 
TRAFFIC SOLICITATION : Following the enactment of enabling legislation some 
years ago, the Harbor Board intensified solicitation of traffic to move through the 
Port of San FranciscOo Under the prevailing State laws, however, some handicaps 
are still placed upon employees of the Board in soliciting traffic and this situation 
should be remedied through the participation of a comm\inity-agency» 

Because of the great field to be covered in behalf of the Port, the maximum 
personnel which can be provided for this purpose by the State Board should be sup- 
plemented. With additional personnel available, representatives of the Board and a 
community agency could coordinate their direct solicitation of traffic which should 


produce great results in proportion to the cost of the solicitation. 

The extent to which Port facilities will be taxed during the Korean or other 
emergencies is not known. However, because of the programs being conducted by 
other ports to attract commercial traffic, there should be no delay in establishing 
and maintaining contacts with present and potential ocean shippers who may use the 
Port of San Francisco most advantageously. 

In addition to direct solicitation to build Port traffic, it would appear that ef- 
forts of the Chamber's Industrial Department to attract new factories to San Fran- 
cisco could be supplemented through the cooperation of the Board of State Harbor 
Commissioners. New factories to process materials from foreign and domestic 
sources and to produce goods for overseas and United States markets are great 
builders of port traffic. The port authorities in other cities are among the leading 
solicitors of new industries. 

Many agencies other than the actual port operators benefit from the movement 
of commerce through San Francisco by water. These agencies include traders, 
banks, railroads, steamship companies, truckers, insurance companies and many 
others. Many of them maintain business solicitors in the areas which the Port of 
San Francisco may serve advantageously. The Committee was told that they would 
like to be helpful in attracting commerce for the Port and it is suggested that steps 
be taken through publications, forums, panel discussions or otherwise, to keep these 
men abreast of developments in connection with the Port in order that they may be 
helpful to shippers elsewhere as to the advantages of San Francisco's rates, ser- 
vices and facilities. 

Representatives of these cooperating agencies have indicated their interest in 
being informed in detail about the Port and its related services and a central 


agency should be charged with the responsibility of capitalizing on their interest. 
PUBLICITY AND ADVERTISING : While all publicity and advertising on behalf of 
the Port should have the principal objective of attracting traffic, it should be so 
designed to have two effects: One, directly influencing those who route traffic; the 
other, infornaing the general public which indirectly influences traffic by being 
fanniliar with the Port, its facilities, services and rate developments. Obviously, 
the nature and distribution of literature will be governed by the international situa- 
tion, but, unless world conditions beconne much more acute than they are now, there 
will be millions of tons of freight moving by water which could be handled most ef- 
ficiently and economically if routed via San Francisco. 

While being far more productive in informing and influencing shippers and 
"selling" the Port, an intensified publicity and advertising program would probably 
be no more expensive than present efforts. Economies in coordinating, centralizing 
and scheduling would make the difference. 

SUMMARY: For convenience, the substance of what precedes and other information 
has been condensed in a Summary -- Conclusions and Recommendations — begin- 
ning on Page 1 of this report. 

Respectfully submitted. 



Dwight K. Grady, Chairman 


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